Religious Takeover – Or Event Marketing 101??

Patterico’s on vacation, so someone needs to step up and slam the LA Times today.

I only go to churches for weddings and funerals – and to hear my wife sing in her classical choir. Evangelical Christianity makes me mildly itchy, combining as it does spirituality, community, and a uniquely American kind of salesmanship. My own spiritual calls are quieter.

Having said that I curse and tear my hair out when I read stupid c**p like Tom Krattenmaker’s opinion article in today’s LA Times:

Should God go to the ballgame?
Events such as ‘faith day’ at Dodger Stadium signal the Christianization of pro sports.

On Sunday, Christian baseball fans will stream into Dodger Stadium for what is becoming more common fare at professional ballparks across the country — “faith day.”

Following the Dodgers vs. Rockies game, fans with special tickets will gather in a corner of the parking lot for a concert by the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson, an appearance by characters from the “Veggie Tales” Christian television program and testimonials by several devout Dodgers. The purpose, according to event organizer Brent High, is to promote the Gospel of Jesus.

High and his Christian events-promotion company, Third Coast Sports, have been organizing faith days and faith nights around minor league baseball for years. They reached the major leagues last season with three events at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, and will be in 10 major league cities this season. The event at Dodger Stadium will be the first in L.A.

Tim, please learn something about major league sports marketing before you sit at the keyboard and write something like this again.

Or check out the helpful site www.gaybaseballdays.com:

In recent years, a growing number of MLB teams have hosted gay and lesbian community events or groups, including the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Oakland A’s, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays. And others, such as the San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins and Baltimore Orioles, have hosted AIDS Awareness Days.

Or go to www.dodgers.com:

Viva Los Dodgers

Presented by Coca-Cola, Time Warner Cable, and Toyota. This year is the 10th anniversary of the music festival that celebrates Hispanic music and culture. Arrive early for the August 18 game for great music, prizes and food.

Tim, is it that you don’t get Internet access at work? You couldn’t pick up the phone and talk to anyone in the event marketing industry (I can suggest some names)? You know, do some freaking research?

4 thoughts on “Religious Takeover – Or Event Marketing 101??”

  1. This is but the latest in a series of Krattenmaker screeds against Christian religious expression at public events.

    01 July 07 — “Faith shouldn’t be red, white, and blue”:http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2007-07-01-oplede_N.htm Oops. Somebody go tell the Founders.

    10 June 07 — “A pious nation?”:http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2007-06-10-oplede-religion_N.htm

    01 April 07 — “A passion for moderation”:http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2007-04-01-on-religion_N.htm Odd, I don’t recall ever seeing history books entitled ‘Great Moderates of the Faith’ or even ‘Great American Moderates.’ Paul? Peter? John? James? _Jesus_? Ole Doctor Luke is about as close as you get to a moderate, and his moderation is primarily that of tone, rather than theology.

    There are “many more examples”:http://asp.usatoday.com/community/tags/topic.aspx?req=tag&tag=Tom%20Krattenmaker of this man’s writing, depressingly similar.

    He’s an outstanding example of what you get from a generation schooled to write “How do you _feel_ about this?” Rather than to analyse, support, refute, compare, contrast, evaluate, and so on.

    His _feelings_ are clear. That such stuff passes for ‘journalism’ these days explains a lot about the financial, er, “challenges” of the old-line media.

  2. OK, it’s clear that lots of people are publishing poorly-researched crap.

    Where are the *editors* in this process? Isn’t there a responsibility to do a modicum of fact-checking and context-checking before printing someone’s opinion? Wouldn’t you hope that this would be particularly true for a newspaper like the LAT that aspires to be one of the country’s leading papers?

    Obviously, what one wants on an Op-Ed page is a range of opinions. Presumably the editors would exclude a comment that included factual statements that are factually wrong, which doesn’t seem to be the case here.

    But what about statements like those quoted by AL that clearly ignore a relevant context? (Very much like quoting someone out of context.)

    One is on a slippery slope, of course, but surely there is a better place to stand than letting crap in.

  3. Beard:

    Where are the editors in this process?

    They’re there. Some of them actually know what they’re doing. Some of them even have life experience outside of the Columbia SoJ.

    “Journalism” has the same problem as “Education” – you go to school for four years to learn the politics of it (which you could learn in 10 minutes) and when you’re done there’s a good chance you don’t know dick else.

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